Here's a guest post by Tom Reynolds, a co-owner of Memorials of Distinction with 10 tips when planning a funeral. It's an interesting read with some good points. Normally I don't look at how to organise or plan a funeral from a family/mourners/deceased perspective. But a lot of people want this and find it helpful, plus it's great to get a more diverse perspective on the blog.
Arranging a funeral can be a stressful time in a persons' life especially if it needs to be done unexpectedly. Although many people try to put off making plans for when they or a loved one passes away, there's a lot to be said to having things in place just in case. However, it's human nature to avoid thinking about it, but if you do make plans, it will make things that much easier at a difficult time when you have lost a loved one. Below are 10 tips for planning a funeral.
Organise poems or songs for the funeral service
1 Avoid Panicking
There's absolutely no reason for you to be rushed into making any decisions at a time when you need to think about things, and sort out feelings. If you think things are moving too fast for you, then slow them down so you are able to take stock of the situation and your feelings.
2 Take Time to Say Goodbye
Take your time to think about the person who has just passed away so you have the time to say goodbye to them. Although, the funeral parlour may want to take over and organise everything for you, try not to let them unless you really feel you cannot cope on your own.
Attendants at the graveside
3 Be in Control
Being involved in the arrangements and time-table of the funeral means you are more in control of how fast or slow things are done – remember, you need to take your time and do things when you feel comfortable about doing them.
4 Concentrate on Things That Matter
Concentrate on the things that matter to you and avoid wasting any of your money on the things that are just not important to you. When it comes to contacting the funeral home, make sure you do not just accepted the first one you came across – you need to feel happy with the people who will be taking care of your loved one.
5 Do Your Research
Organising and planning a funeral is an expensive business, so you need to treat the whole process as you would buying or organising any other important event in your life. When you do decide on a funeral home, make sure they provide you with an itemised list of their costs – this is something funeral parlours are obliged to do.
6 Choose Aspects of a Package
If you are not happy with a complete funeral package you are offered, choose the aspects you do like and go with them because you do have the right to do this. A reputable funeral parlour would accept your choices – if you want to keep things simple, you can.
7 Organise Songs for the Funeral
A good idea is to organise and sing songs at your loved one's funeral. This will help everyone who attends to be part of the ceremony. If you know someone who sings well, ask them to take the lead in the singing.
8 Ask For Help
If you feel you need help with anything, you should never be afraid of asking people to give you advice or a helping hand. If people offer help, you should accept because people do love to give a helping hand whether physical or just moral support when times are difficult.
9 Understand the Cost
If there is anything you don't understand about the costs and services a funeral parlour will be charging you for, then ask for it all to be clarified in writing so you can then discuss it with family and friends.
10 Understand What You Are Paying For
The sort of services you would expect to be offered and therefore charged for by a funeral parlour includes the following:
- Embalming and any other preparation of the body.
- The use of the funeral parlour for viewing, memorial service, funeral ceremony or a graveside service.
- Hearse and limousines.
- Casket or urn.
- Burial or cremation.
There is a lot to organise when it comes to funerals which is why it is that much better to plan things earlier. Although it is always hard to talk about death, it is something everyone does have to face up to sooner or later. Being prepared does make it that much easier for all concerned at a very difficult time.
Author bio: Tom Reynolds is one of the co-owners of Memorials of Distinction - a long established, family owned headstones and memorial specialists serving the public and memorial trade in the UK